On a pretty regular basis we meet business and start up leaders who are what we would call “business hackers.” This isn’t a good thing or a bad thing, but more of a mentality we see in people. We call them business hackers because they try to hack certain functions of their business. We think that to hack these functions makes complete sense in a start up – up to a point. When businesses start to grow and the complexities begin to mount, it’s time to replace those hacks with legitimate services… or better hacks.
This is where we see most business hackers stumble.
Here’s a situation that we see all the time. A couple entrepreneurs start a business. They use a common online platform to set up their business. They have some success and make some money, and then they use a full-service online finance/accounting platform to manage their books. Hey, we’ve got financial statements. We’re a real business! Success continues and the company then uses an online HR platform to manage their HR function. The company has duped themselves into thinking that they have Legal, Finance, and HR.
These platforms are getting paid monthly and are never going to be the ones to say to their clients “you’ve outgrown us, time to find someone new.”
But what happens when the business really starts to grow. What happens if they want to raise money, or convert their entity, or create an investor deck, or terminate an executive, or enhance their culture? This is when things start to get a little messy. The 800 number that you usually dial, and the PoliSci grad-turned-business advisor that you usually talk to probably won’t be able to answer to your questions. This is where the breakdown starts. If you hack too much in a start up, it can get messy quickly.
This is where we advise you to Get Suitless. Or please just get someone, because you can’t hack HR, Finance, and Law!
As one of our partners puts it so eloquently: “I can hack law because I practice it daily, I have the law degree, I have the Masters in law, and I have the years of experience. You can’t. And that guy on the other end of the 800 number DEFINITELY can’t.”